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Thursday, October 15, 2009


No Need to Make Up Quotes: Rush Limbaugh Has Said Plenty of Racist Things
During the controversy over whether radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh should be allowed to be minority owner of the NFL St. Louis Ram franchise, a couple racist quotes (extolling slavery and MLK assassin James Earl Ray) were falsely attributed to Limbaugh. When I heard about them, I knew they were false. The reasons: they were said to be from the 1990's; had Limbaugh actually made the statements on his radio show in the 90's, I would have heard about them earlier.

Who posted the phony quotes? I don't know but one thing I know is that, like the Killian documents, the fact that some in the media have jumped on the quotes has allowed Limbaugh to play the victim and sidestep the real issue: Limbaugh's longtime pattern of appealing to racists. Yesterday, when I tuned into Limbaugh's radio show, Limbaugh was whining that he was shut out of the NFL because of the phony quotes and that he was unfairly being called a racist. This was the same line of reasoning that I have heard on other right-wing talk radio shows since then. Did Limbaugh or a Limbaugh ally plant the phony quotes in order to garner sympathy for Limbaugh and muddy the waters? I can only speculate.

The fact is that Limbaugh has a history of making racist comments so there's no need for anyone to make anything up. Let's discuss some of Limbaugh's racist comments and actions (this is by no means an exhaustive list):

1. Limbaugh was one of the biggest defenders of the rogue cops who beat Rodney King. In the 1990's, Limbaugh devoted large segments of his radio and television show to try to excuse their actions. For instance, Limbaugh made this incredible statement on his radio show, "The videotape of the Rodney King beating played absolutely no role in the conviction of two of the four officers. It was pure emotion that was responsible for the guilty verdict."

2. Before Trent Lott was exposed for waxing nostalgic about Strom Thurmond's 1948 Dixiecrat presidential run, here's what Limbaugh said about Thurmond's past: "He's not encumbered by being politically correct.... If you want to know what America used to be--and a lot of people wish it still were--then you listen to Strom Thurmond." Irony alert: One recent Limbaugh apologist referred to a "media lynch mob" against Limbaugh; Thurmond's 1948 platform explicitly opposed federal anti-lynching laws.

3. I noted on my blog in 2003 that Limbaugh did a sketch that parodied the 2004 Democratic presidential candidates--comparing them to characters in Gone with the Wind--when Carol Moseley-Braun's name was announced, a sound-alike of the character Prissy shouted, "I don't know nothin' about runnin' for no president!" No surprise, whenever Limbaugh would address Moseley-Braun on his radio show, he would play the theme to The Jeffersons TV show.

4. Limbaugh has a problem with the NAACP. In the past he has called the group "the NAALCP (National Association for the Advancement of Liberal Colored People)." Despite a history of nonviolence (The organization has recently celebrated a century of nonviolent activism), Limbaugh said, "The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies."

5. I wrote about Limbaugh's reaction to the prospect of Trent Lott resigning form the Senate and Mike Espy, an African-American, taking Lott's seat.

6. Limbaugh on Jesse Jackson: "Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?"

7. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting reported the following: "In 1994, Limbaugh mocked St. Louis for building a rail line to East St. Louis 'where nobody goes.' East St. Louis is home to roughly 40,000 residents -- 98 percent of whom are African-Americans. One of its 40,000 'nobodies' is star NFL linebacker Bryan Cox."

8. Limbaugh to a black caller, "Take that bone out of your nose and call me back."

9. Limbaugh on the NFL: "NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons"

10. Limbaugh on American blacks: "They are 12 percent of the population. Who the hell cares?"

11. In 1992, on his now-defunct TV show, Limbaugh expressed his ire when Spike Lee urged that black schoolchildren get off from school to see his film Malcolm X: "Spike, if you're going to do that, let's complete the education experience. You should tell them that they should loot the theater, and then blow it up on their way out."

Unfortunately, I could go on.

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